Hola Amigas! Fifi & Co’s Playdate 2019: A Fifiesta Celebration



One of the lesser known facts about myself is my love for fashion. An even lesser known fact is that I was once an investment banker, a long, long time ago. Who would’ve guessed that many years later, I would end up being a mom of 2 beautiful daughters, put up my own event styling company, and a kid’s fashion line to boot?

Fifi & Co. Photos taken by the AMAZING Anj and Cha at Delightful Little Darlings!

One thing I realized is that in life, one thing leads to another, and another, and another, until you end up pretty much so far away from where you began that even your own mother would never have guessed what you end up becoming.

Another fun fact: when I was in high school, I saw a random newspaper ad about a balloon sculpting seminar (you know, the type where you make balloon swords, dogs, and flowers, etc). On a whim, I joined, and my mom tagged along. It wasn’t a calculated move; I didn’t go there thinking I would make a living being a balloon artist. I just went, and had fun. Little did I know then that I would be doing balloon decorations for a living.

Steve Jobs went to a class on calligraphy not because it was part of his major, but because he was interested in it. It was fun. 10 years later, it all came back to him when he was designing the Mac.

Regardless of where you end up, the most important thing is that along the way, you’re having fun. You’re curious. You’re actually interested.

So what fun thing am I working on now?

3 words: Fifi & Co Playdate!

Photo by Delightful Little Darlings!


If you aren’t familiar yet with The Playdate, it’s a yearly thing where all the moms and kids get together to have one fun-filled afternoon of food, activities, and photo-taking. Oh, and the kids get to try on, for the first time, the latest Fifi & Co clothing collection!

Here’s an amazing video reel by Lemon Three Films capturing the soul of the event beautifully:

For our digital invitation, I had Party Magic’s resident artist, Pat The Lion, whip up something cute:

I even had Pat design t-shirts for the whole production team (I made shirts for the peeps at Fifi & Co, Party Magic, Delightful Little Darlings, Lemon Three Films, and of course for our inimitable host, Pat Infanteof Cocoon Studio!).

Now, on to the set design.

Upon entering, the mommies were greeted by a glass wall filled with Mexican-inspired doodles!

I set up a registration table / lobby right at the entrance. It looks like this:

Hola! That floral arrangement off to the side was done my yours truly. I’m so proud of myself for how beautiful it turned out!

I have to say, Pat Infante did such an incredible job being a host. Although the program was free-flowing, Pat provided constant commentary. Her energy was infectious. I think the key to this is that Pat is a person who genuinely loves kids.

For the photo op area, this time around I wanted the set to be simple, clean, and yet fun; something that appeals to both kids and adults. Here it is!

I had our Party Magic team do a cement wall finish for the backdrop, topped off with a salmon pink tinge. Then I had the team create (from scratch) this really cool, L-shaped staircase. Sparse greens (all of them cactuses), round out the whole set.

Doing it this way turned out great, because the set was so versatile, it was great for solo shots:

Pretty Soyen, one of our muses last Holiday 2018!

Duo shots:

Love love this shot. Coco kind of looks like she’s modeling for an ice cream brand though!

Group shots:

Solo mommy shots:

And even group mommy shots!


Last year’s photo area was so much fun (at some points, it was too fun!) that we literally had to grab kids off the set to make way for others.  So this year I thought it would be a great idea if I created a 2nd photo shoot area in order to decongest the traffic!

I wanted something tropical, fun, and yet still chic. I had a seamstress customize these beige curtains, and also bought a pair of potted palmera and bougainvillea plants to frame the left and right sides. Instead of the usual tiled flooring, we hauled beach sand and made that as our “flooring”.

Needless to say, all of this made for an awesome photo session:

The famous Danielle of Dear Dani fame. This photo looks like it belongs to a magazine shoot!

None other than The Ella Bella. Seriously how do these kids learn how to pose like models?

Oh the joy coming out from our dear Bea. Love that green dress!

The ever-Lovely Leigh, always posing with such aplomb!


If that wasn’t enough, once everyone had settled down in the venue, the lobby / reception doubled up as another photo-op area!

The bubbly Phoebe


And lastly, for the branding area, I did this:


I’ve always believed in cultivating an aura of gratitude. To be clear, this whole event wasn’t a one-man show. Fifi & Co would never have done this without the heartfelt support of the following people:

Den Llanos Dee, Anj, and Cha from Delightful Little Darlings

Rak and the whole team from Lemon Three Films

Pat Infante of Cocoon Studio for being such a lovable, joyful host

Michelle Changco and Kat from The Creamery Catering

Maan, Michelle, and Tita Rox from Smart Play for their sand tables

Gladys Collantes from Crafts and Party Bucket

and of course, The Party Magic team!



About the author

Michelle Lao

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